Work collectively for continuation of country’s development: PM to Ansar

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Dhaka, Feb 10: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked the Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) personnel to make collective efforts for continuing the pace of advancement to transform Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country by 2041.

“I want all of you to work together to keep running the country’s development spree,” she said while addressing as the chief guest the 42nd Ansar and VDP National Rally-2022.

She virtually joined the rally held at Ansar and VDP’s academy in Shafipur of Gazipur from her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital.

She said that Bangladesh’s per capita income and GDP have increased and its economy has strengthened despite the Covid-19 pandemic has stalled the global economy.

“You (Ansar member) have significant contributions to each of the fronts (growth in per capita income and GDP and other economical sides). We want all of you to work collectively,” she continued.

Mentioning that peace is the prerequisite for the development, the prime minister said the members of Ansar and VDP have been working to ensure tranquility referring to their engagement in mega projects like the Padma Bridge, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Karnaphuli Tunnel, metro rails and others.

She also said the newly formed Ansar Guard Battalion has been working to ensure security of diplomats, country’s important personalities alongside safeguarding the diplomatic enclaves.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Public Security Division Senior Secretary Md Akhter Hossain spoke on the occasion while Director General of Bangladesh Ansar and VDP Major General Mizanur Rahman Shameem gave the welcome address.

On behalf of the prime minister, the home minister handed over different medals to 162 Ansar members for their outstanding contribution to their respective fields.

In the function, the premier opened newly completed development projects for the Ansar and VDP. The projects are – ‘Mujib Prangan’ (Mujib Premises) and central mosque (both were constructed) in the Ansar and VDP Academy, classroom cum kitchen dining bhabans in nine districts, Mymensingh Range Commander’s Office, Feni District Commandant’s Office, and its 4 model upazila offices.

She also witnessed a spectacular parade of a smartly-turned out contingent of Bangladesh Ansar and VDP.

Spelling out the plans and programmes in building a prosperous Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said, “We have already started implementing a prospective plan by formulating a five-year programme to build a developed and prosperous Bangladesh by 2041.”

The prime minister said her government has also adopted a Delta Plan-2100 to ensure an improved life to the countrymen and protect them from the adverse impact of the climate change.

She added: “We have given a plan till 2100 as none can stop the advancement of Bangladesh—we are advancing and will forward towards building a developed and prosperous country as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

The premier reiterated her commitment to bring all the people under housing schemes when the country is celebrating the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the golden Jubilee of the country’s independence.

She said, “Not a single person of Bangladesh will remain homeless and landless.”

She also said they have taken various programmes that included the “My House, My Firm” project to ensure the country’s overall development.

The prime minister said her government has included Ansar and VDP men in the project which help them become economically solvent and lead an improved life, adding that the project has greatly contributed to reducing poverty and making speedy economical development.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has already fulfilled several commitments by reaching electricity to every house and making Bangladesh a digital country by providing broadband to every union and launching Bangabandhu satellite-1 in accordance with their last election manifesto.

The premier mentioned that Bangladesh is a peaceful country and it believes in peace, saying, “The country’s development is possible if there is a peaceful environment prevails. The advancement of a country means the development of every family. We want development of every family.”

She called upon the Ansar and VDP personnel to make their best efforts to continue the peaceful environment of the country.

The premier greeted the Ansar men for their great role in containing the militancy, terrorism and fanaticism in line with the government decision to make Bangladesh a country free from terrorism and militancy.

Pointing out that the evil forces always try to destabilise the country, she said the Ansar and VDP members played a strong role in resisting the rampage and violence of the BNP-Jamaat nexus from 2013 to 2015.

The prime minister mentioned that her government has introduced “service” and “bravery” awards for the force in recognition of their contribution, saying, “We are always sympathetic to your (ansar bahini) benefits and welfare.”

She said that the government is going to form Ansar and VDP Welfare Trust Fund by giving seed money to the fund for the welfare of its members.

Highlighting various programmes taken for overall development of the Ansar and VDP, she said, “We have been implementing different plans for the development of Ansar Bahini as our government is always sincere to resolve problems of the forces.”

Noting that Ansar Bahini was awarded with the highest state honour “Swadhinata Padak” in 1998 for its special contribution to the field of sports, she said, “We first gave the national flag to the Ansar Bahini.”

Mentioning that her government has formed Ansar and VDP Bank, she said, “The bank will help the Ansar Bahini become self-reliant.”

Recalling the great contribution of the Ansar Bahini to the Liberation War and the Language Movement, Sheikh Hasina said as many as 670 Ansar personnel sacrificed their lives at different times.

The prime minister said the first government of independent Bangladesh was formed on April 10, 1971 at the directives of Bangabandhu as the Ansar Bahini had played significant role in giving “guard of honour” to the first government at its oath-taking ceremony on April 17, 1971.